I inevitably eat too much during the holidays, especially when I travel back home to Illinois. Because of this, I don’t necessarily look at the New Year as a time to eat healthier, but rather a welcome return to lighter fare and a relief from the heavier foods I just consumed. I like to pull in fresh flavors, use quite a bit of ginger, and include has many leafy greens as I can. Most of the time, those greens are in salad form, but occasionally I’ll make a quick batch of soup, like this flexible, easy Mushroom Chard Soup with Soba Noodles.
For me, I have to be in the right mood for soup, and the last week or so, I think I’ve had a bowl every day. (I’m also blaming being pregnant and feeling the need to eat 6+ times a day!) The weather in Northern California has also spurred this on with below-freezing temperatures. When I'm in a soup groove like this, I'll switch it up between cream soups, cheese soups, and broth-based soups, but mostly, I like my soups to be on the lighter side but packed with flavor.
This particular soup comes together rather quickly and is primarily flavored by the mushrooms and ginger. I’m not very picky about the type of green being used — chard, kale, spinach, and bok choy all work just fine here. And while I left it as optional in this recipe, I’ll add a teaspoon or two of sriracha in with the ginger if I’m feeling like I need a bit of kick — it’s the right amount of spice!
Soba Noodle Soup with Mushrooms & Chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha, optional
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups vegetable broth
4 ounces soba noodles
2 ounces shredded Swiss Chard leaves, or other hearty greens
Sesame seeds, for topping
Heat a medium stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil followed by mushrooms. Cook mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger (and Sriracha, if using), cooking for another minute. Next, add in the soy sauce and stir, scraping up any parts of mushrooms stuck to the pan and continuing to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. The mushrooms should be softening.
Measure in the broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add the noodles and chard. Cook until the noodles are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.